The Smiths: All 73 Songs, Ranked

Morrissey and Johnny Marr lasted only five years as a songwriting team, but these Manchester lads left a lifetime's worth of absurdly great songs behind

Load Previous

32. "Frankly Mr. Shankly" (1986)

An anthem for every pretentious famewhore poseur who ever decided it was time to quit the day job and become a legend. Like Prince in "Raspberry Beret," Morrissey flounces through the workplace with the insouciance of a star who clearly wasn't cut out for real life. Not a favorite of the other Smiths – too much music-hall burlesque – yet a catwalk for the singer, who declares he'd rather be famous than righteous or holy. Some people heard "Frankly, Mr. Shankly" as a dig at Rough Trade label boss Geoff Travis; Morrissey complains in Autobiography that "Geoff had zero appreciation for the songs that had saved him from life's lavatory."

Best line: "Fame fame fatal fame / It can play hideous tricks on the brain." 

Back to Top